Welcome back to another week of the “Share Your Story” series. Last week I introduced you to Ruth from Craft with Cartwright. Ruth’s post was all about her journey from making the decision to write to earning money from it. This week we have Kerry from Mummy Thomas Blog sharing her story, one that is so relatable to many of us; your child going to nursery.
Mummy Thomas Blog
I am a mother to a beautiful two-year-old girl, a wife to an amazing husband. I also blog and write about all things mental health and parenting.
In sharing my personal fight against birth trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Postnatal Depression (PND) my intent is to raise the awareness for others like me. I share the ups and downs of being a parent in the hope new parents can be better prepared along the way. I always try to be as open and honest as I can, so others can relate.
You learn so much from interacting with charities and communities that support people with a mental illness. I have sat and thought about how the things people have said have resonated with me.
It helps me, that’s why I took to blogging.
I am actually writing a book at the moment. I hope that it helps people who are suffering.
My Story; Nervous Mummy…..
I wanted to share my current struggle.
I am terrified of my daughter starting nursery early this year. She is starting with four sessions a week, the minimum.
We didn’t have a great start with nursery life at our first attempt back home. We decided to send her when she was around one and a half. It did not go well. They were awful. I would arrive to pick her up to find her upset, hiding under the table. They said she had been there all day.
I was so angry.
They said she would not come out, even for something to eat. The following exchange resulted in me calling him a moron and demanding to know why I wasn’t called in. This was me being polite. I really I wanted to slap the bloke!
She wasn’t sleeping at night and would not get out of bed in the morning. Every time we left the house she would cry and beg me not to take her. I balled my eyes out before dropping her off and in the car on the way back. Safe to say that was the last straw. We took her out and never took her back.
I am hoping we have a better experience with this one.
I am also worried because she keeps me busy during the day and I feel like I am going to be a little lost when she goes. I am worried I will have too much time to think. I’m worried about taking a step back with my depression. I am trying to prepare myself by finding new things to do until I feel ready to return to work. It is as if it has hit me that I’m not going home. We have moved out-of-town and I have to get use to a quieter life with my friends and family further away. I feel like I will be stuck in limbo when she goes to nursery even if I am very excited for her. Partly because she needs it.
She needs to interact with other children and have new experiences.
She asked me the other day to have another baby because she wants to play with it. I knew it would come one day. I had to try to not let her see the pain I felt at that moment. I am the reason she won’t have a sibling. Because of the trauma I suffered I can’t face it again. It hit me hard. I now think, what purpose will I have when she goes to nursery? Will I be sat twiddling my thumbs?
The thought of someone else taking over and looking after my baby, making sure she eats and drinks and goes to the potty frightens me so much. The thought of them taking her out on school trips when I am not there makes my skin crawl and my anxiety goes through the roof. I have been in bed going through every possible scenario and wondering what I would do if X,Y,Z happened.
I think that is one of the worst things about anxiety and PTSD in general. I want to enjoy life and enjoy watching her grow but, at the same time I am terrified and I know that’s a natural thing for a parent to feel. I have spoken with my counsellor about it and she has given me exercise to use, CBT wise.
I would say it helps sometimes.
I have sat and thought about it and I am hoping my experience of her starting nursery here goes well. I don’t think I could handle another bad experience. I still don’t know what I’ll do with myself but I am determined to let her settle and then do something for me. Be it a university course or start a new career. I plan on joining a few exercise classes; Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Swimming
I can read the books that have been sat there waiting for me to pick them up. Go for a coffee and finish it. Go to the toilet on my own and not have a toddler saying ‘can I wipe mummy’. Eat my lunch without little fingers pinching my crisps or half of my sandwich. Actually sit and maybe watch a film. Look for a career or job that I can enjoy and start when I’m ready. Take my blog to the next level, whatever that is.
Most importantly focus on me a little more and cry at the same time as I will miss her so much.
Self care is something I take for granted and I’ve learnt when I don’t look after myself I pay for it.
So, we went along for our first day at nursery it was more of a play date really. I felt like I had my back up as soon as I walked through the door. I had every possible scenario going through my head.
What if she doesn’t settle? What if the staff are awful? Do I give it a go or take her straight out?
I had visions of a child biting her and I saw myself turning into a Phil Mitchell and going for the parent. Do you remember that episode in EastEnders when Ben was bullied? Anyway moving on. It would even be their fault and they are only toddlers but I feel all these emotions, anger is one of them. I can’t explain why. I feel anger and frustrated that I won’t be looking after her and a stranger will be.
I hate that I feel this over protective of her. I don’t want to be the mum that wraps her in wool and keeps her in a bubble. But I can’t help it. After everything that has happened.
We arrived and the staff seemed welcoming enough. I made the dreaded walk into the room where all the parents stood with their children, they glanced over. Looking at the newbie, me. I felt that’s what they must have been thinking. Anxiety sucks. It heightens every emotion.
My daughter walked straight in and said ‘hello everybody I’m here’
I went bright red and smiled. She was more confident than I was. Now that may change when I take her and leave her. I guess the only way to find out is to go for it.
She went straight into the room and started playing with the other children, whilst I stood at the back. Something I realise, places like this can be very difficult . Everybody knows everybody and when a new parent comes on the scene they are not very welcoming. Let’s hope this one is different.
A cry in the car park for me that day. I can do this.
Here’s to 2018. Be kind to yourself. Don’t suffer alone. There are some fantastic support groups out there.
#pndhour on a Wednesday.
#mentalhealthhour on a Sunday.
You can talk about anything that is bothering you and there is always someone who can relate.
Thank you for sharing your story Kerry. I hope that your little lady settles in OK and you can relax a little, start thinking of you.
If you enjoyed reading this then please do show Kerry some support;